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Work Programme Statistics - March 2013

The release of the Work Programme statistics up to the end of March 2013 comes with a commitment from DWP to open a consultation next month for future plans for Work Programme Official Statistics. This will be welcomed by all Work Programme providers and subcontractors who have been frustrated that current data does not provide a true and accurate picture of performance.

The Work Programme is a minimum two year programme.  The first intake are only reaching the end of their initial programme this month.  Any of this cohort starting work by the end of June will be supported in work for at least six months to achieve a job outcome and up to a further two years to achieve full sustainment.  The full performance for the first intake will therefore not be fully measurable until 2015.

So what do the latest figures tell us?  The answer may be surprising.  The statistical release offers a positive and well balanced picture of what is really happening.  

  • More recent monthly intakes are attaining a higher proportion of Job Outcome payments, at 12 months on the programme, than earlier months.  This may be a result of providers finding out what works best for customers, slow implementation affecting early performance, an improving labour market, or all of the above.
  • Those who joined the programme in the early months are still continuing to attain Job Outcome payments the longer they spend on the programme.
  • Of those who had spent sufficient time on the programme (three, or usually six months), 13% achieved a Job Outcome and most of these are staying in work. 
  • For all Referrals, with sufficient time following a Job Outcome payment, 65.2% attained the maximum possible number of Sustainment payments they could by 31st March 2013.
  • In the first financial year Minimum Performance Levels were not met. In the second financial year the contractual performance for JSA 18 to 24, JSA 25+ and ESA new customers Payment Groups were 31.9%, 27.3% and 5.3% respectively against a Minimum Performance Level of 33%, 27.5% and 16.5%.

While there is still work to be done in some contract areas and for some customer groups, the overall progress is positive.  The top performing contract is achieving twice as high a job outcome rate as the lowest, so there will be a lot of crunching numbers over the next couple of days to pull out more comparative analysis.  The release provides a good overview of performance in different contract areas, and if you want to conduct more of your own detailed analysis you can access the DWP Tabulation Tool to download more detailed information.

27 June 2013

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